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Vail Valley Works program aims to strengthen workforce

An engaged employee is a happy employee and happy employees make the workplace work. In a valley where we are service-industry centric, employees are our most valuable asset and Vail Valley Partnership wants to cultivate Eagle County’s workforce.

VVP has made a commitment to the quality of Eagle County’s future by designing the Vail Valley Works program. By developing, training and supporting a network of aware and knowledgeable business leaders, the Vail Valley Works program will prepare them to take on the challenges of an ever-changing community.

VVP is championing these programs in response to a local need.

“We continue to hear from you – our members in the business community – that professional development, leadership and workforce training is of paramount importance,” said Chris Romer, president and CEO of VVP. “Vail Valley Works combines a variety of professional development tracks, opportunities and partners to bring this essential training to our businesses.”

Vail Valley Works isn’t just a one-hour or one-day class, starting in 2020 the VVP will offer its three Signature Courses:

  • Community Leadership Academy (Jan-July) – Enhance their leadership capabilities and connect with likeminded professionals in Eagle County.
  • NEXT Emerging Leaders (Jan-June) – Meet with six dynamic community leaders, learn from their success and growth, and grow your professional network.
  • Community Issues Bootcamp (May-Oct) – Learn about specific issues affecting our community. Each topic will be led by local and regional experts.

The education doesn’t end there. In 2021, VVP plans to expand upon these programs with Specialty Courses and Affiliate Courses. Specialty Courses will focus on specific training for civic leaders, tourism professionals, customer service, small business startups and more. The Affiliate Courses will leverage the incredible work already being done by its partners by offering more specific and advanced courses.

Vail Valley Partnership is ready to invest in your employees and create deeper community engagement, a better understanding of the issues facing Eagle County and personal leadership development. If you are ready to engage and take yourself or your staff to the next level, contact VVP and learn about special savings for members, nonprofit rates and other discounts. Visit www.vailvalleyworks.com for more details.

Red Table Ranch offers a modern escape

Red Table Ranch is the perfect place for those looking to find serenity from everyday stress. Here, you can enjoy time with family and friends, an abundance of outdoor activities and grand views that span across the horizon lines in all directions of the home.

Red Table Ranch in Cordillera is situated on over 72 acres of Colorado landscape that offers a wildlife corridor allowing elk, deer and grouse to migrate throughout the property. Sunrise or sunset, nature is on full display.

This three-building European compound-concept design, completed in January 2019, features the main house with three bedrooms and several living areas that are perfect for entertaining. Imagine the family gatherings and parties that can be hosted with the pizza oven, grill, hot tub, heated patio, Guinness on tap and a candy wall.

A detached two-bedroom guesthouse allows friends and family a place to call their own and you can keep all the vehicles and outdoor gear and equipment in a heated 1,000-plus square-foot garage.

The home also has over 1,000 square-feet of heated patio space. European LiftSlide doors unite the indoors and the outdoors into a seamless entertainment space and a place to enjoy the scenic vistas.

Winter activities include snowshoeing, sledding, cross-country skiing and world-class skiing at Vail and Beaver Creek. In the summer, hiking, golfing, biking, horseback riding and so much more are just outside your door.

The home was designed by Vail Valley architect, Kyle Webb. By working with the homeowners, Webb was able to design a home that would take their vision of a one-hundred-year-old ranch and create a re-imagined luxury modern mountain home. Red Table Ranch integrates seamlessly into the environment, is environmentally friendly with clean, modern lines and has every modern convenience.

To see this spectacular home in this amazing setting, visit the open houses that will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily thou Oct. 25. To view it by appointment, contact Broby Leeds with Slifer Smith and Frampton Real Estate at 970-331-2205 or on the web at https://www.conciergeauctions.com/auctions/594-winchester-trail-edwards-colorado.

Turn your donations into dollars

At Vail Valley Cares your donations equal dollars for area nonprofits. Anytime you shop or donate at the Vail Valley Cares Thrifty Shops the money goes back into the community to support well-needed programs. This year, Vail Valley Cares granted over $300,000 to 44 local nonprofits at the 19th annual grant breakfast on Aug. 28.

The event was hosted at Trinity Church in Edwards. Greg Osteen, executive director of Vail Valley Cares and Jeff Apps, one of the board members, handed out the checks and each recipient got to come up and say a heartfelt thank you and tell the audience how the money will be utilized. During the program, there were plenty of smiles, cheers and even some tears.

Many of the representatives for the nonprofits spoke about how humbled they were to be in a room filled with people doing so much good. It’s a reminder of how many nonprofits are in the Vail Valley and that there are so many needs. “Your existence does make a difference. You are the backbone of Eagle County,” said Pat Hamilton, of the Swift Eagle Foundation.

The Vail Valley Cares Thrifty Shops in Edwards and Eagle were closed for part of the day so the staff could attend and be recognized for their efforts. The audience gave them a standing ovation for their service to the community.

Vail Valley Cares has a grant application process each spring. The services the nonprofits provide range from literacy programs and senior citizens care to early childhood learning and mental health services. For many of these groups, the extra funding they receive from Vail Valley Cares is vital to their operations.

In addition to the grants given to nonprofits, Vail Valley Cares also gives scholarships to Colorado Mountain College students. Since 2000, Vail Valley Cares has given away over $4 million dollars.

Consider the lifecycle of your donations and support Vail Valley Cares. To learn more visit www.vailvalleycares.com.

Own a home at Hawk’s Nest or Mountain Gateway

Owning your own home is within reach in Eagle County. The Upper Buckhorn Valley is abuzz with construction on not only one but two developments that offer green-built, value-priced options from the low $300,000 to $500,000 price range. Enjoy great views in these mountain modern homes with elevated plateau designs by Green Valley Homes. 

Mountain Gateway provides a gateway to owning real estate in the Vail Valley. The floor plan provides two bedrooms and one bathroom along with an open floor plan, outdoor patio, modern finishes, fireplace, individual storage spaces, and two-car assigned parking.

Hawk’s Nest offers three bedrooms and two and one-half bathrooms, a two-car garage, balcony and a lower level walk-out patio. An additional family room, fireplace and open floor plan with plenty of windows bring in the mountain views. If you get in during the early stages of construction on either project, you can choose some of your own finishes.

Both of these new developments are adjacent to the Gypsum Wildlife Park, a 60-acre playground for outdoor enthusiasts and access to hiking and biking trails.

Scott Marino of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties and sales manager of the Buckhorn Valley sales team encourages people to stop paying rent and make an investment in a place they can call home.

“With Eagle County’s rental pressures and high rent costs, you can own at Hawk’s Nest or Mountain Gateway for less money per month than renting. You’ll also be paying towards your investment, not your landlord’s investment,” Marino said.

Marino also points out that there is a one-year builder’s warranty on Mountain Gateway and Hawk’s Nest properties, as well as some of the lowest homeowner association dues in the county. Plus, buying at the beginning of a project means a strong chance for fast equity. “The first 18 buyers have already seen their investment grow,” Marino said.

There will be an open house on Saturday from 10 to 4 p.m. To learn more about Mountain Gateway and Hawk’s Nest and opportunities to visit the properties, go to www.upperbuckhornvalley.com.

Celebrate and save at Squash Blossom

It was 1973 and John and Patti Cogswell had just graduated from college, gotten married and started what is now the Squash Blossom in Vail. After 46 wonderful years of developing relationships with artists and clients and curating a collection of high quality and handcrafted art and jewelry, the Cogswells are retiring.

John and Patty look back fondly at how this adventure all began. “It started in the trunk of Uncle Wilton Cogswell’s turquoise Cadillac,” John explains. “He had quite the collection of Native American jewelry and I helped him arrange an inventory system and get photographs of pieces and about a week later we opened a store in Colorado Springs and Vail.”

“Our honeymoon was spent on the Hopi, Navajo and Zuni reservations where John had $1,500 in his cowboy boot to spend on new inventory,” Patti added. “I learned all my early jewelry skills from the Native Americans. We’d sit at their kitchen table and sort through and always go for the highest quality. We were very particular and always represented jewelry that reflected a unique style,” Patti said.

In addition to the Native American jewelry, the Cogswells eventually added internationally renowned jewelers to their collection.

“Every jeweler that we’ve represented had their own unique and handcrafted style and we’d make sure that we didn’t pick jewelry that looked like someone else’s and a lot of our clients noticed that,” Patti said.

The Cogswell’s won’t be retiring completely, they will still have a 2,000 square foot gallery in Colorado Springs. But they are looking forward to spending more time with family. “We have four grandkids ranging in age from four to seven,” Patti said. “We haven’t had enough time for hiking, fishing, golfing and biking.”

Stop in and see the amazing curated collection of luxury jewelry at the Squash Blossom in Vail Village and enjoy amazing discounts on their exclusive jewelry collection and say farewell to a couple who grew up with Vail. The store is also for sale, in case someone wants to continue the legacy.

“I have no regrets,” Patti said. “I don’t know how you could have such an adventurous way of making a living. We were always traveling looking for artists, and Vail was a beautiful place to raise our children. But, it’s time.”

For more details, go to www.sqashblossom.com.

Blue Plate offers a diverse menu and seating options this summer

You can call Blue Plate global, or eclectic, or international — it all amounts to the same thing to Chef-Owner Adam Roustom, and he has a different word for it: Americana.

“Almost all the foods that are ‘classic American’ came from someplace else,” he says. “America is a melting pot, and that’s what we are. Blue Plate is Americana.”

And it starts with the chef and his wife, Elli, who manages the front of the house. He spent his childhood in Syria until moving to the East Coast in grade school. Elli hales from Austria. The pair met in Vail, had a brief and feisty courtship, then married and opened up Blue Plate a dozen years ago. And though the concept today is basically what they started with, every year they add a little more, do a little more. Blue Plate is practically a lifestyle.

Summer is a special time at Blue Plate for a lot of reasons — especially the patio seating off of one of the eatery’s two dining rooms. “It’s the only place in the valley where you can sit under an apple canopy or order from an outside bar.” Inside or out, it’s a great time to sample one of Elli’s refreshing teas or lemonades — made fresh daily with all-natural ingredients, including blue butterfly pea flower tea, which brings a vivid hue. Or go for a fruit-forward summer cocktail created by Bar Manager Alex Siles.

And they’ve just opened their gondola seating: cozy up in the newly refurbished Hansel or Gretel cars and enjoy the entirely customized Chef’s Tasting Menu or the Traditional Alpine Menu. With beautiful interior woodwork and seamless service, the gondola cars seat a foursome comfortably, and offer a magical experience that takes you outside of time.

But you don’t have to sit in a gondola car to experience Chef Adam’s culinary chops. Whether you’re heading in for lunch, Happy Hour or dinner, there’s a solid backbone of Blue Plate’s tried-and-trues, embellished with enough new items to keep the chef jazzed.

For a place that has developed a cult following for both meatloaf and schnitzel, there sure are a lot of inventive vegan options “just because.” Case in point, the red lentil Kibbe Nayeh served with fresh mint, chili and onion, the classic set-up for Middle Eastern raw lamb kibbe. “It makes it pop, and the lentils are really reminiscent of raw lamb — it rocks,” enthuses Adam. Or go for his spin on Papas Bravas: “Instead of potatoes we’re using sweet potato tater tots — for me, a tater tot is the epitome of Americana, I fell in love with them in 5th grade when we moved to America.” Doused with a chipotle sauce and served with an almond “vegannaise” instead of the normal aioli, it’s a fun little tapa. Other newbies to the menu include Asian Pork Osso Bucco — braised shanks, panang (red) curry sauce, Asian broccoli and mango — as well as shrimp and scallop ceviche tostadas, topped with guava foam, and Adam’s own take on liver and onions a la the Ottomans, with crispy veal liver, hummus, Syrian cabbage and sumac onions. The menu is truly a wild ride through Adam’s own interests and influences. With his flavors and execution, and Elli’s attention to the details of consistency and hospitality, they’ve cultivated a clientele that will happily follow along.

Golden Peak penthouse a rarity

In real estate, the term ski-in/ski-out can mean many things, but Golden Peak Penthouse, East truly lives up to that description. This new offering marks the first slopeside residential project at the base of Vail Mountain in nearly 20 years.

Positioned at the base of Golden Peak, the Riva Bahn Express lift and just short walk from Bridge Street in Vail Village and the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Golden Peak Penthouse, East represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“If I can only use one word, it would be ‘scarcity’,” said Tye Stockton of The Stockton Group with LIV Sotheby’s International Realty. “You can’t get slopeside, new construction, ski-in/ski-out anymore. We only had two penthouses, and we sold one so we have one left. This is it.

This penthouse is two-stories, boasts over 5,600 square-feet and all floors are accessed by your own private elevator. The open floor plan brings the outdoors in with ample windows and views of the Gore Range. Enjoy the Colorado climate with over 2,000 square-feet of outdoor living space. Indoors you’ll find a mountain-modern aesthetic with a state-of-the-art kitchen, dining area, great room and lounge.

Six bedrooms will allow you to invite the whole family or invite friends up for a ski weekend or for the spectacular summers in Colorado.

“This residence is for a family that loves to ski and wants to be next to the slopes,” Stockton said. “They love Vail, they want all the privacy that a house affords but they also want the convenience of being able to lock the door and walk away and not have to worry about it.”

Scarcity is one word Stockton used to describe Golden Peak Penthouse, East but urgency is another word he used. “Golden Peak Penthouse, West sold earlier during the construction phase without any marketing, so a lot of the world doesn’t even know this exists yet, so we feel once we really start promoting it, Golden Peak Penthouse, East is going to sell very quickly,” Stockton said.

To learn more, visit www.goldenpeakpenthouses.com or call Tye Stockton at 970.471.2557.

Win land, help St. Vincent Hospital

What would you do if you won land in Colorado?

The St. Vincent Hospital Foundation is hosting the Colorado Land Rush and raffling off a forested .46 parcel of land in the Pan Ark Estates subdivision south of Leadville. Raffle tickets are $75 plus fees. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced at the Leadville BBQ & Brew Festival in downtown Leadville on June 22 at 4 p.m. and you don’t need to be present to win

Sound too good to be true? Land ownership could be a reality and in buying a raffle ticket, you are actually helping to support rural healthcare services in Lake County

After nearly closing the facility in 2015, St. Vincent Hospital is celebrating its 140-year history and will break ground on a new state-of-the-art facility later this year. The funds raised from the Colorado Land Rush land raffle will be used to help purchase a new CT scanner, which enables doctors to diagnose head and neck injuries, find internal organ damage and stabilize patients. Whether the patients are treated in Leadville or need to be transferred to a trauma center, detailed imaging from a CT scanner is critical.

Situated in the shadows of some of the state’s 14,000-foot peaks, the Leadville area boasts majestic views, hiking, biking, fishing, rafting, skiing and other outdoor activities.

What would you do if you won land in Colorado? The possibilities are endless for outdoor recreation and it’s a place for you to call home.

To purchase a raffle ticket or tickets, go to www.coloradolandrush.com. To learn more about St. Vincent Hospital’s new facility and extensive history, please visit www.leadvillehospital.org. Act fast, the winner will be announced at the Leadville BBQ & Brew Festival on June 22 at 4 p.m.

The Walden House offers views and endless outdoor recreation

Expansive views of New York Mountain and miles of trails that can be used during all seasons await those who call 705 Whiskey Ridge home. This seven-bedroom, nine-bathroom modern residence up West Lake Creek near Edwards sits on approximately 70 acres of terrain surrounded by national forest land.

“This home really caters to the type of family that leads an active lifestyle,” said Tye Stockton with The Stockton Group of LIV Sotheby’s International Realty.

“Imagine snowshoeing in the winter and biking on the trails or fishing and paddleboarding in the pond next to the house in the summer. Then at night, you get to go into this amazing house, sit by the fireplace and take in these views from every direction.”

705 Whiskey Ridge was named the Walden House, a reference to the novel “Walden” by Henry David Thoreau. Of course, the size of this home does not qualify as a cabin, but the theme of the book is what inspired the design and lifestyle of this home.

The Walden House was designed by renowned architect Annabelle Selldorf and is a modern work of art recognized worldwide. The home utilized indigenous materials like beetle-kill pine on the exterior. Other elements include copper shingle siding and hand-stacked Anasazi slivers. The materials were purposefully used to create harmony with the surrounding environment.

Even though it sits on top of Whiskey Ridge, the area the house was built on was relatively flat, allowing for more of a ranch style flow to the 10,515 square-foot home, except for the tower of bedrooms on the southeast corner.

“After a busy day of outdoor activity, your guests can retreat to the guest bedrooms at the ends of the house, which gives them more privacy. Then, the family is in this really cool stack of bedrooms where everybody gets great views. The floor plan is repeated three times until you get to the master on the top. It’s like nothing I have ever seen,” Stockton said.

Although the outdoor activities provide a workout, there is a separate glass-encased cabana-gym and outdoor pool for even more recreation.

Its location provides convenient access to the world-class skiing and snowboarding at Vail and Beaver Creek, the shops and dining in Edwards and a quick drive to the Eagle County Regional Airport.

To learn more please contact Tye Stockton at 970-470-6212 and visit www.waldenhousevail.com.

Eye Pieces of Vail now offers digital eye exams


Eye Pieces of Vail is pleased to announce the arrival of digital eye examinations at its Edwards Corner location, offering customers a fast and flexible way to learn more about their eye health.

“We decided to invest in the technology because we believe telemedicine is the future of health care. Our new equipment provides customers with greater flexibility and availability in scheduling an eye health exam. We are able to perform an exam 6 days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.,” said Scott Poupore of Eye Pieces.

Eye Pieces works remotely with doctors from coast to coast to be able to provide on-demand communication with each eye exam patient. The process is as simple as filling out a form detailing a patient’s medical history. From there you are brought back to the examination room.

“We start with an advanced instrument that gives us a substantial amount of information in just a few moments. Combining multiple tests into one machine makes the experience more comfortable for the patient,” said Jen Stevens, an optician with Eye Pieces.

“Next, we will capture an image of the back of the eye and check the peripheral vision. After taking a few digital pictures of the eye we have a certified technologist join the exam and perform the refraction.”

A certified ophthalmic technologist performs subjective refraction testing via live video conferencing. Eye health is examined along with tests for diseases like glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and cataracts.

All test results are transferred electronically to a board-certified optometrist for clinical review. After the review, the prescription is sent to Eye Pieces within minutes so eyeglasses can be picked out from the vast selection of brands and styles Eye Pieces has in its showroom. Many times, Eye Pieces can get your prescriptions done in a day or two since its lab is on-site. Don’t forget, Eye Pieces can also put your prescription into sunglasses and goggles.

“We recommend you get an eye exam every one to two years if you wear glasses and every year if you wear contact lenses,” Stevens said. For more information, please contact Eye Pieces of Vail at the Edwards Corner location by dialing 970-926-1756 or info@eyepiecesofvail.com.